Step one of the Government’s roadmap to cautiously ease lockdown restrictions in England begin from Monday.
The big change that most of us will be aware of is that, from March 8, all children and students will return to face to face education in schools and college.
Among the other changes will be the fact that people can leave home for recreation outdoors such as a coffee or picnic with their household or support bubble, or with one person outside their household.
So that means you’ll be free to have a coffee and a cake in the park with your best mate and not just exercise together. You must continue to maintain social distance from those outside your household, though – so no hugging just yet.
If you’re wondering where you could meet up, there’s plenty of picturesque spots in the county – many of which have on-site cafes.
As you still need to stay in your local area, we’ve included parks and green spaces around the county, so you should find somewhere close to where you live.
Beacon Hill Country Park, Woodhouse Eaves
If you want an impressive view across Leicestershire, head to the summit of Beacon Hill. You won’t be disappointed.
The 135-hectare park is also made up of some of the oldest rocks (700 million years) in the world.
These include the unusual Old Man’s Head rock formation which can be seen from the path near the summit.
Just across the road from Beacon Hill is Broombriggs Farm, where there’s a mile-and-a-half farm trail.
Beacon Hill Cafe is open from 10am until 2pm every day for takeaway food and drink.
The menu includes breakfast sandwiches, toasties, jacket potatoes and cakes.
Bradgate Park, Newtown Linford
Bradgate Park features 830 acres of wild and beautiful countryside, populated by hundreds of resident deer.
There are dramatic rocky outcrops and gnarled old oak trees, many of which are well over 500 years old. There’s also the historic ruins of Bradgate House – home of nine-day queen Lady Jane Grey – and the landmark Old John’s Tower.
You could hike up the hills and enjoy the stunning views, or take it easy and stick to the driveway running through the lower part of the park, close to the shallow waters of the River Lin.
Just north of Bradgate is Swithland Wood, a 155-acre ancient woodland. A network of waymarked footpaths and riding tracks extend throughout the wood and link directly to Bradgate Park.
The Deer Barn Tearoom is open for takeaways seven days a week from 10am until 4pm, and the Conservatory Tearoom is open at weekends from 10am until 4pm.
Hot drinks and cakes are available.
Welland Park, Market Harborough
Welland Park is the largest park in Market Harborough.
The amazing outdoor space features 35 species of trees.
The Cafe at Welland Park is open for takeaway food and drink from Tuesday to Sunday, 9am-4pm.
The menu includes options such as a breakfast bap, a range of sandwiches, plus cakes and coffee.
Wilton Park, Melton
Close to the town centre, Wilton Park has tranquil gardens to walk round.
The Pavilion Tea Room at the park is open for takeaways seven days a week from 9am until 4pm.
There’s a variety of food, including breakfast rolls, toasties, burger and chips, soup, sausage rolls, plus ice cream, cakes, milkshakes and hot drinks.
Hicks Lodge, Ashby
In the heart of the National Forest, Hicks Lodge is a former coal mining site on the edge of Moira that has been totally transformed and now features walking and cycling trails.
There’s a selection of routes and a great play area for the kids too.
Ground Cafe is open daily offering a takeaway service from 9am until 5pm.
Bosworth Battlefield Country Park, Shenton
At this country park, you can walk the 1.25m Battlefield Trail, enjoying panoramic views over the landscape and learning about the battle and surrounding area from information boards along the way.
The 1485 Tithe Barn Cafe is currently offering a takeaway service from Saturday to Wednesday, 10am until 2pm.
Located on the edge of Hinckley, Burbage Common is Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council’s largest countryside site.
The 200 acre park is a mix of semi-natural woodland and unspoilt grassland.
Acorns Coffee Shop is open for takeaways from 10am until 3.30pm Monday to Friday, and 9.30am until 4pm Saturday and Sunday.
Food available includes cakes, soup, paninis and jacket potatoes.
Fosse Meadows Country Park, Sharnford
Fosse Meadows offers a variety of walks, beautiful woodlands, bird hides, a wildlife lake and arboretum.
Coffee van Mason’s Il Cappo Del Caffe is open every day from 9.30am until 4pm, weather permitting.
Everards Meadows, Enderby
Everards Meadows is a 70 acre area of beautiful green space, ideal for a walk or cycle.
Do bear in mind that improvements are being carried out to the paths from the Great Central Way to the Blue Bank Bridge. This means that Monday to Friday, between 7.30am and 3pm there will be no access via this route in the week until March 26. There will be access late afternoon and weekends, and there are other places to cross as well.
Coffee house Jenno’s is open for takeways from Monday to Saturday 8am until 6pm and Sunday 9am until 5pm.
Abbey Park, Leicester
Just a mile outside of the busy city centre, Abbey Park is a lovely area of greenery which is divided in two by the River Soar.
On the western side of the river are the Abbey Grounds with the remains of the 12th Century Leicester Abbey and the ruins of Cavendish House, a 17th Century mansion.
To the east of the river is the Victorian part of the park with its evergreen shrubberies, trees, boating lake,and formally planted flower displays.
Park cafe Peppercorns is open for takeaways from 10am until 3pm Monday to Friday and from 10am until 4pm at weekends.
You can get hot and cold drinks, cakes, sandwiches, and soup at the weekends. There are lots of vegan options available.
Humberstone Park, Leicester
Humberstone Park has large open grassed areas and a sunken garden.
It was one of six parks conceived in the 1920s to cater for Leicester’s rapidly expanding suburbs. The others being Braunstone, Knighton, Evington, Rushey Fields and Aylestone.
The Humberstone Park Cafe is currently open for takeaways from 10am until 12.30pm Wednesday to Saturday, 12pm until 1.30pm Sunday (Sunday roasts only).